The majority of the Republican Party has finally decided to take on the very loud, engaged and energetic Trump minority. To do it, they’ve devised the strategic approach of all those who are behind the curve and in the hole: they are gambling. Here is the strategy you may not hear about from many of the talking heads.
The Republicans aren’t sure they can stop Trump from getting the numbers he needs to secure the nomination by the time of the convention. They hope so. But whether he does have the numbers or whether it is instead a brokered convention doesn’t matter.
The point of the current movement is only partly to deny Trump the numbers. It is partly—mostly—to build a case to deny him the nomination, whether he has the numbers or not. Just walking into the convention and offering opinions about how bad Trump is and how bad he is for the party and the country won’t do.
Instead, they are going to essentially put him on trial. They are going to impeach him as a nominee. At that point, they will have evidence from Republican leaders of all kinds, from experts of all kinds, from friendly foreign leaders of all kinds, etc. Mostly, they will have Trump’s own words and behaviors. When it is all over, when all the evidence is in, a majority of the party will agree to convict and to disqualify him from any possibility of nomination.
A minority of the party will protest. The result will be that Trump, after threatening to sue (which is what he does), will walk, take his supporters with him, and run as an independent candidate.
This is where the gamble comes in.
The Republicans have to be confident that they have somebody to run who can beat Trump and the Democratic nominee (likely to be Hillary Clinton) in a three-way race. If they lose that gamble, both alternative outcomes are disastrous for them.
If you think things are strange so far, just wait until you see the impeachment trial of Donald Trump at the Republican National Convention.